Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Red Heart Super Saver

I've heard (or rather seen) a lot of people posting across the internet about how icky RHSS is. I'll concede that, years ago, it was pretty rough. But, then again, it was also the only affordable yarn for knitters/crocheters who had very little money to spend.

Now, RHSS has softened over the years into something much more workable. And to tell the truth, most people want an item that they can just throw into the washer and dryer without worrying about it losing its shape.

Now, I'm not disrespecting quality yarns at all, I love to use them when I can afford them, as long as they're items for myself so that I know I'll take care of them properly, but for gifts I would use a good quality, soft acrylic.

These days, there are many, many brands of acrylic yarns, but I have no way to get to them except online, so I use mostly what my local W-M offers (sucks, I know, but that's how life is.) When I can afford to get some money into my Paypal I'll shop around for the good stuff, usually on Ebay since they take Paypal and I can usually find something nice at a good price.

Such as the three skeins of sock yarn I purchased a few days ago. I hope this link works.

Brown Sheep Wildfoote

It's in the color Ragtime, which is different colors of purples and plums, some of my favorites.

I can't wait to knit up a pair of socks from this yarn, it's very soft and cushy. But I have other projects that must be finished first, so it will likely be after Christmas.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Twenty pairs of fingerless mitts

Well, three-fourths of them. I have five more pairs to make before the end of the week. They turned out really nicely and I even found something to store them in to keep them clean, a blanket bag. You know, one of those clear plastic zippered things that some blankets come in when  you buy them. It'll hold all twenty pairs nice and neat when I deliver them. I hope everyone who gets a pair will enjoy them.

I truly enjoyed making them, even though it got boring with all those repetitive, sc ribs. I'd have to stop sometimes and switch projects just to keep from getting bored to death. Hey, you sit and crochet nothing but sc rib for days on end and see how bored you get ;)

Still, that's what other projects are for.

Ruffled scarves

They're all the rage, and rightly so. Soft and squishy and ruffled, you can have one to match every outfit if you like.

The only problem with them is that they're a pain in the backside to knit. You're using a net-like yarn that's about 2-3 inches wide and knitting through the edge of it. You have to stretch it out as you go (or unroll it, stretch it out and re-roll it onto a piece of cardboard). Either way, it's a pain to do that.

The upside is, once you adapt to the netting, things go a bit more smoothly and faster. There are any number of youtube vids about how to do this, along with any number of brands of the netting yarn.

I'm making my first one with Red Heart Boutique Sashay in the Waltz colorway. Take my word for it, it'll look crappy when you first start, but give it a foot or so and it'll start looking really nice. I'm going to give this one to a friend for Christmas, she likes the browns and blues in this particular colorway, so it goes to her.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Crochet hook case

I just received an order of bamboo circular needles and crochet hooks. Knowing me, if I didn't do something, the hooks would end up somewhere that would result in them getting broken, so, I went to Crochet Pattern Central and found a beautiful pattern for a crochet hook case and I made it within a few hours. I used some Caron Simply Soft in a butter yellow color that I have no idea what they call it since I don't have the wrapper for it anymore. You should be able to complete one of these with yarn leftover since this skein was a partial skein and I still had plenty leftover.

Anyway, here's the picture:

As you can see, the openings are roomy and I doubled up on the smaller sizes. The largest one on the other end is a 10mm, a US P, I think.

I intend to make more of these for my aluminum hooks and figure out how to make a holder for my straight knitting needles and my circulars.

More to come when I get that done.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Armwarmers galore

Or it will be, soon. A friend asked me to make 20 pairs of my ribbed fingerless mitts yesterday. She wants to give them to some friends for Christmas.

Good thing these things are so customizable, she likes the length a bit longer, to keep the arm warm as well as the wrist/hand.

Good thing too that it only takes a few hours to make a pair, give or take. I have plenty of time to make them for her.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Rules and Patterns

I've been crocheting and knitting since I was a little girl and that was a very long time ago (I'm 52 at the time of this posting.).  I usually craft in sections (start projects and put them down), so I always have UFOs.

I really hate rules and people who insist one must follow a pattern to the letter. The only rules I follow in knitting are the knit stitch is always done with the yarn in back and the purl stitch is always done with the yarn in front. Other than that, it's whatever I feel like doing.

Take patterns. To me, they're just guides. If I want my finished piece to look exactly like theirs then I'll follow the pattern religiously. Nine times out of ten I won't. I'll use a different yarn or color or incorporate the pattern into something the author likely never envisioned.

It's kind of putting my own signature on things, sort of like freestyle knitting without going crazy. (Though I'd like to try that freestyle one day, I just can't seem to envision anything.)

Anyway, I was reading a blog and the comments and someone had asked the author how they got all the colors in the project they were commenting on to look so nice together and the author said that she tried to keep colors that clash (like red and orange) from touching. That kind of jarred me since I don't think red and orange clash.

So, while I'm knitting up Log Cabin blocks I'm making one just from red and orange to prove my point. I have a nine patch template that I use to test out different looks and made a jigsaw look by making the center block orange, going around three sides of it with red and doing the final block in orange again. So, I have a U-shaped red piece with an orange piece that fits inside the U like a key. I'll post a picture and anyone who stumbles across this can like it or hate it as they will, it's up to the individual on what clashes/doesn't clash and I'm of the opinion that no two colors actually clash, it's all according to the tastes of the individual.

Take orange. It's merely red, watered down with yellow, so why would it clash with red? All colors are mixtures of the three primary colors (red, yellow, blue), plus white and black on occasion. Yes, some colors look better together than others, but no two colors actually clash-in my not so humble opinion.

Picture to come when I finish the block, but here's the template I did:

I call it Jigsaw. I think it looks great.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Working on a pattern

It's based on a familiar quilt block pattern called Log Cabin. I'm trying out various configurations and writing them down, along with a few variations on each one. When I'm finished I'll try to add it to my Ravelry account as a free download (never tried that before, so thought I would with this.).

I have three different variations on the pattern, making about a 5-1/2" square (though one could make it larger by adding in a third round of rectangles.). I'm going to keep making small squares until I get enough to make a throw.

And don't you crocheters feel left out, the patterns will transfer easily to crochet and I'll have that written up too.

Don't hold your breath though, I'm notoriously slow. I may have the pattern out faster than I normally work, but the afghan will take awhile.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Broken links

I've been checking some of my older posts and it seems some links are broken. I'll go through them (my finished projects) and fix them as quickly as I can. Seems ImageShack changed the URLs of my pics and dropped others completely, so if you see a small white square where a picture should be, that's what happened and I likely won't be able to get another up there. For those posts, sorry, but there's nothing I can do.

Doily Baby blanket

I just finished  this earlier this morning and thought I'd share it. I used my blackberry so it isn't the clearest of pictures, but you can see it well enough. That's my little grandson Noah showing off the blanket.

The pattern is called Doily Baby Blanket and I have the pattern in a Red Heart booklet I got from my mom. Now Red Heart has made the blanket a free pattern and it can be found here:

Doily Baby Blanket

So if anyone is interested in making one, you can give it a whirl. I used some old yarn I was given, and the gauge was almost the same as the pattern called for. The final measurement I got was 44-1/2" in diameter instead of 43", so not bad, just a bit bigger.

It will make a nice lapghan, bed decoration or even baby blanket. The pattern is quite simple and only took me a little over two days of straight crocheting. Yes, I have time to sit and crochet almost all day, I babysit the babies while parents work. It could be a nice weekend project when you have nothing else to do and nowhere to go or to be.

Oh, and the two colors are Blue Velvet from Yarns Brunswick (Windrush) and Hot Red from RHSS, which looks like a nice reddish-orange. The Blue Velvet looks like a dark teal.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Hoover Blanket

No, not a bunch of old newspapers to cover up with, but a knitted baby blanket that Herbert Hoover's wife made famous. Personally, I think its name should be differentiated by calling it L. H. Hoover Blanket. Knitty deciphered her pattern and published it:

Hoover Blanket

I'm making one in RHSS Aran Fleck and a Sage green for the contrast panel. I'm making version 3. It isn't really hard to do if you don't mind carrying two colors along and you can do 1x1 ribbing. The end result will be a blanket with a wide border and a double knitted stockinette stitch center panel which will be reversible. I cast on 130 instead of 110 so that I would have an even hundred stitches for the center panels.

Personally, I don't see how she could knit 190 stitches using straight needles without constantly dropping stitches, unless straight needles in her era were longer than the straight needles we have now, because they likely didn't have circular needles back then.

Well, after some digging, I found that circular needles were around at that time, since they were invented post-WWI, so it is possible that Lou Henry Hoover had some for her baby blankets.

Pretty cool, huh?